The Tour of Britain is on track to put Eye and Framlingham on the map, as Suffolk prepares to host an entire stage of Britain’s premier road cycling race for the first time.
The two north Suffolk towns are among the locations looking forward to welcoming the world’s top professional cyclists – after it was announced on Tuesday that stage six of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain would take place in the county on September 8.
The race, sponsored by Suffolk brewery Adnams, will start in Newmarket, with the riders racing a 183-kilometre route which winds its way east across the county, before concluding in Aldeburgh.
Colin Ribchester, Eye town mayor, said he believed the event would encourage the area’s community spirit, drive visitors to the town and get more people outside and using their bicycles.
“I think it’s absolutely brilliant,” he said. “It’s exciting and, for a small town like Eye, it is even more so.
“Everybody gets involved. It will bring a lot of people to the town. Schoolchildren will all be given flags, and bunting will be going up. I think people will get out and line the streets.”
These sentiments were echoed by Framlingham Town Council.
In a statement, it said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Tour of Britain is coming through Framlingham. It will be a boost for tourism and local businesses.”
The announcement continues the Tour of Britain’s history with the area, having drawn huge crowds when it passed through Diss in 2011, and again when it travelled into several south Norfolk towns in 2015.
Although the event has visited Suffolk before, this will be the first time a full leg will be contained within the county, from beginning to end.
Abdul Razaq, director of public health and protection at Suffolk County Council, said: “The Tour of Britain will be a much-loved fixture in Suffolk’s summer calendar.
“The race will not only bring people to Suffolk, it will encourage more people to take up cycling and live a more active and healthy lifestyle contributing to our ambition to make Suffolk England’s most active county.”
For additional information about the Tour of Britain, please visit the event website at www.tourofbritain.co.uk